Professional business tips to make your own merch

The world of competitive marketing has evolved since the time of simple advertising, such as using catchy jingles or flashy promotional banners. Businesses are changing their marketing game to boost their sales and profits by diversifying strategies to highlight their brand and achieve maximum customer engagement.

Companies tried some of the most outrageous marketing campaigns like handing out free gifts with products, sponsoring popular events, etc, with a focus on cementing their brand in the hearts of consumers.

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One of the most effective strategies that achieve this for your business is the use of promotional products or merchandise. Merchandising is the process of making products with the specific purpose of propagating your brand. Branded merchandise can be any type of product containing your brand’s name and logo. The main goal of your merchandise is to highlight, promote, and present your brand to consumers and not the merchandise itself.

In layman terms, brand merchandise is anything - absolutely anything that you sell with authentic branding. It’s different from the actual product or service that you sell and it is quite easy to make your own merch as well.

If you’re looking to start selling merchandise online but not quite sure how to go about the process, you’ve come to the right place. We will not only show you how to make your own merch but also be the best at it.

But before you understand how to make merch and how to sell merch, get a clear idea of why it’s important to have your own merchandise.

Benefits of Making and Selling Merchandise

The idea behind selling merchandise is simple - Branding! But there are some added benefits for your business, if you decide to make your own merch. Here are the 3 most important benefits:

1. Extra Revenue Stream

As a brand, if you give out great merch along with their normal offering can be a great added source of revenue. If you can learn how to make your own merch, at a low cost, you’re bound to earn extra profits.

Promote your brand by selling your own merch

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Brand Recognition

Branded merchandise can do wonders for brand recognition. When you sell merchandise with a brand name or logo, it is bound to stick in people’s minds. Think of it as a personal marker that tags customers to recognize your brand, even if they just see a glimpse of your branded merch.

2. Customer Engagement

If you make your own merch, you pave a way to connect to the audience. It helps consumers identify with the brand and gives them an opportunity to display their love for the brand by owning exclusive merchandise.

If you want to experience the benefits of branded merchandise then we suggest you start making your own merch? You might think it’s really not your thing, but just hear us out. We promise that after you’ve gone through our 6-point make your own merch course, you will be able to create merch that dazzles consumers.


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Learn How to Make Your Own Merch

We understand how confusing it can be when ‘how to’ articles give you all the information in a haphazard manner. Hence, we’ve done all the hard work for you and simplified the steps to make your own merchandise. Here are the 6 steps:

  1. Identify your merch audience
  2. Brainstorm Merch Ideas
  3. Create a Mockup
  4. Collaborate with Merch Partners
  5. Establish Prime Cost
  6. Platform to Sell Merch

So let’s go into detail about each step and understand what you need to do to create merch that’s a rage among your consumers.

1. Identify Your Merch Audience

Before you even start to make your own merch, you need to decide on what you’re going to sell as your merchandise. Any item that has your company brand on it can become merchandise. It can even be a cool collectible that doesn’t really have practical use. But to be on the safer side, start with products that resonate with audiences. Choose products that are relevant to your audience. For example, if your brand is popular among make up artists, think about selling merch that they are most likely to use.

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Some of the most famous and evergreen products to a brand are clothing, accessories, and home decor. These products never go out of fashion and are great at making an impression among audiences.

2. Brainstorm Merch Ideas

From what you've recognized about your audience and the objectives to make your own merch, you need to brainstorm ideas that will make your brand stand out.

Focus on the design elements that resonate with your audience and make your merch priceless among the competition. Consider what tones and textual styles that you ought to fuse with your custom merch like shirts, mugs, extras, etc. Colors evoke passion and feelings while textual styles give personality to your design. By simultaneously analyzing your needs and that of your audience, you can create attractive designs that will mesmerize your target crowd.

In order to make your merch really click with your audience, you can print a logo, a photo, a catchphrase, or an image on your merchandise.

You can enhance the value of your merch by adding in some quirky catchphrases, famous celebrities, bands, or even cartoons. These will help your audience connect to your merchandise and increase its demand in the market.

3. Create a Mockup

You can use Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator to bring your designs to life. For those of you who find Adobe too complex, you can do the same basic graphic editing using GIMP (an open-source program that you can download on Mac, Windows, and Linux) or Pixlr (an image editor)

However, if you think designing is not your cup of tea, you can always hand it over to a professional. There are plenty of websites (Fiverr, Upwork) where you can hire freelance designers who can create the best merch design for you. places you can look. Here are a few of them:

4. Collaborate with Merch Production Partner

Designing and making your merchandise with just your teammates can limit your opportunities. To create the best merchandise, you will need to collaborate with a number of other businesses. It can help in easing out some of the difficulties you might face during production, packing, or even sale. Plus you won’t have to worry because you’re still involved in the production, particularly in the planning process.

The most important collaborator is the printing service that you will rely on to bring your merch to life. For instance, some printing companies already offer blank apparel and accessories for a base price, then you can add the printing cost of your desired print.

Promote your brand by selling your own merch

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5. Calculate the Prime Cost

Be sure about why you chose to make your own merch. Though you’re making the merchandise with the primary goal of branding, you need to take care not to spend more than you can get back. The prime cost is the selling price of your products which includes the first cost and the retail margin.

The first cost of merchandise is the cost incurred to produce, advertise, and deliver the merchandise to the target audience. This depends on the quality of the product, the complexity of the print, the number of copies printed. As with all production, the cost of making goes down with the increase in production. So always go for bigger orders as it will reduce making and printing costs. However, you need to pace yourself.

When calculating the first cost, keep in mind how much you want to earn and how much of the merch your audience will buy. An easier way to guarantee sales is by running a crowdfunding campaign before you make your own merch. This way you have source funds that can cover production and marketing (if you can raise the money for it). So, even if your target market is not really impressed with the merch, you won’t have to worry about selling the merchandise as you can always give it to your sponsors.

6. Platform to Sell Merch

This is the most important step to make your own merch because if your merch doesn’t reach all your customers, it reduces the chances that it will take markets by storm. So as you’re planning what your merch is going to be and how it’s going to look, you will simultaneously need to figure out the best possible platforms to market and sell merch. If you’re planning to sell your merch offline, putting it up in your store can be the best you can do to sell it. You could also partner with other businesses that can sell your merch. For example, if your merch is apparel, you can approach showrooms and outlets that sell apparel.

But this might not really promote your merch the way you’d want it to be. What’s the other option, you ask? Well, online of course.

Just like how you’d approach an offline store to distribute and sell merch, you have online platforms like Amazon which sell third-party products. An easier option, though, is to create a personal website to sell merchandise online. Strikingly is a website building platform that helps businesses create a virtual identity for themselves. It not only gives them an online store to sell merchandise but also provides the best channels to market your merch so as to reach your target audience.

You can market your merch with Strikingly website

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Building a website with Strikingly is easier than it sounds. The platform is remarkably user-friendly and has custom-made website templates that you can use to build the best merchandise website you can imagine. All you need to do is sign up with Strikingly and choose the best plan to suit your marketing needs. And it’s not like you need to be a computer wizard to build a website on Strikingly. The process is simple and if you do find yourself stuck at some point, you have a top-notch customer service team that is always by your side to solve all of your issues. Don’t worry about what you need to do to make your own merch. Get on Strikingly, build a merch website and find out for yourself. It really is that simple!